The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) is an independent, non-partisan, non-government organisation working for the practical realisation of human rights across the Commonwealth, with a focus on access to justice and access to information. Further information can be accessed at

CHRI is looking for a Research Consultant for a project ‘Karnataka Prisons Study’ as part of its Prison Reforms Programme. The programme focuses on improving prison oversight, strengthening undertrial review committees, ensuring effective legal aid services for persons in custody and facilitating speedy repatriation of foreign national prisoners upon completion of their sentences. It seeks to achieve its goals through research, legal analysis and advice, advocacy, capacity building, network building and strategic litigation.

Job Description

This position is a full-time consultancy based in New Delhi. It is part of the project supported by Karnataka SLSA, in collaboration with the Karnataka Prisons Department, to conduct the study of prison conditions in all prisons in Karnataka. The period of the consultancy is 7 months, from December 2018 to June 2019 and it would require frequent travel from Delhi to Karnataka.

The Research Consultant will:

  • Conduct visits to all prisons in Karnataka (Central, District, Sub, Revenue and Open prisons) in a phased manner to be completed in first three months of the project.
  • Conduct interviews of selected prisoners and prison staff during visits to all prisons.
  • Collect and document information received from the various prisons during visit.
  • Submit periodic reports to the Karnataka SLSA, prison department and coordinate with them.
  • Write report of the study by collating data received in the light of standards laid down in the Karnataka prison rules.
  • Other tasks as required.

Essential Qualifications:

  • Master’s/ Bachelor’s degree in law or social work or criminology or related fields, with minimum 2 years’ experience of working on prison related issues, prisoners’ rights or in district courts in Karnataka.
  • Proficiency in Kannada – both spoken and written.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Ability to work independently with a high degree of initiative.
  • Comfortable with travelling alone on work.

Desirable qualifications:

  • Experience of working on access to justice issues.
  • Experience of field research.

Type of Appointment and duration:

  • 7 months consultancy from 1 December 2018 to 30 June 2019.
  • Remuneration will be commensurate with knowledge and experience levels.

Interested candidates should apply with a current CV, a cover letter, two writing samples (no longer than four pages – one in English and one in Kannada) and contact details of two referees.

Please note that proficiency in Kannada - oral and written - is a key requirement as the documents and interviews will primarily be in Kannada.

Applications should be sent to by 25 November 2018.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.